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Ring in New Year’s at home with bubbles and your favorite snacks

Festive bubbly cocktails by Rebekah Peppler
Festive bubbly cocktails by Rebekah Peppler to help ring in New Year’s Eve at home.
(Silvia Razgova / For The Times; prop styling by Kate Parisian)

Though many people will be grappling with how to celebrate New Year’s Eve without getting dressed up for a fancy party to toast the occasion with a dozen or so friends, who are instead forced to sit at home for the holiday for the first time, let me be the first to say: It’s great. Never one for a crowded bar or being in a room full of people who’ve decided to go out and/or drink for the first time in a while, I always spend New Year’s Eve at home ... alone ... and it’s highly underrated. You drink exactly what you want, refills are easy to come by, and all the food you want is at your disposal when the pangs hit — no having to subject your sober friend or Uber driver to having to drive you to a fast-food spot that’s open at 3 a.m. Oh, and sweatpants.

To help ease you into this paradise, let’s start with the drinks. Drink author Rebekah Peppler recently shared with us three fantastic cocktails that make great use of whatever bubbly alcohol you have at home. There’s a sophisticated Cognac-and-Curaçao coupe number livened with sparkling white wine, a scarlet Lambrusco libation balanced with earthy tequila and bitter Campari, and a dirty G.L.T. that adds floral Lillet and a splash of olive brine to refresh a classic gin & tonic. Either one — or all three — would make a perfect toast with yourself, or a loved one, at midnight.

And for snacks, make a bowl of firecrackers and keep them within arm’s reach ... or maybe don’t because you’ll be shocked by how much of them you can inhale in a short amount of time. For dinner, balance your fancy bubbly cocktails with some hot, crispy fried chicken; you know, that thing you probably haven’t had hot in the past 10 months because it dies in takeout containers and is really perfect to eat plucked straight from the fryer while hovering over the draining rack. And if not fried chicken, then go with a spicy kung pao iteration served with plenty of hot rice.

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Since the theme is “eat what you want,” make a no-utensils-required Caesar salad to get in some greens without ruining the party. You could also make this crunchy, hot Korean corn grilled cheese and would need nothing else besides a big napkin. And skip dessert in favor of another cocktail. But if you absolutely must have something sweet before bed — or need to sate children — make it brownies, particularly these ultra-fudgy ones that aim for maximum happiness (and are gluten-free!).

Whatever you decide to make or how you choose to celebrate, enjoy the time at home this year to drink, eat and do whatever you want. It will make next year’s celebration all the more worth it to venture out into the party scene again.

Bubbles a l'Orange

Time 5 minutes
Yields Makes 1 drink

Cognac and orange Curaçao add a festive flavor to this sparkling wine cocktail.

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Firecrackers

Time 1 hour
Yields Makes 10 cups

Salty, spicy and loaded with garlic flavor, these snack crackers are difficult to stop eating.

Jonathan Gold’s Barefoot Fried Chicken

Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Yields Serves 8 to 12

Country ham flavors the oil for this simple and hot fried chicken, an ideal NYE meal.

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Korean Corn Grilled Cheese

Time 40 minutes
Yields Serves 4

Korean corn cheese makes the best filling between bread in this crispy, gooey grilled cheese.

Flourless Fudgy Brownies

Time 45 minutes
Yields Makes one 8-inch-square pan.

Flourless, fudgy and warm, these brownies are the perfect sweet treat to cap off NYE at home.

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